Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Referendum... now part of Gracedale’s history, and the few politicians who sought to despoil Gracedale are now themselves history.  The Coalition of Alzheimer’s Families was accused of fomenting “mobocracy” but in fact they led Northampton County in a remarkable exercise of pure democracy.  Citizens of Northampton County along with Gracedale’s patients are the beneficiaries.
When I first learned about the attempt to sell Gracedale to a for-profit corporation, I was angry.  Not just at the lies, like the threat of a massive County tax increase, and not just at the vicious attempt to destroy every particle of security for the working men and women who care so well for Gracedale’s patients.  I was also angry that the patients themselves had so little voice in the very community where they had lived and worked throughout their lives.
I started to make online comments about the issues (it was a period when I had a little bit more time to do so) and I sent a letter to The Express-Times into which I put some of my strong feelings.  As a result I received a call from the COAF inviting me to one of their meetings.
That visit evolved into some of the warmest friendships a man can have.  I offered some help in the form of writing—the COAF wasn’t even aware of how to compose and distribute press releases, so I started by working up a few drafts and longer pieces for them.  I objected to editors at both local newspapers about the less-than-adequate coverage their reporters were giving to the COAF (and that was apart from at least one egregiously fawning article in which the would-be sellers were congratulated on their nearly-accomplished success!).
My role was minimal.  The COAF and Gracedale’s workers are the ones who collected petition signatures and persevered in their tough fight.  Gracedale found her best defenders from the ranks of those who know her best.
After the success of the Referendum I naturally returned to wondering about the folks at the epicenter—those who rely on Gracedale simply because they can’t care themselves.  Thanks to the COAF and Gracedale’s staff, I have been visiting Gracedale herself.
I will make up for lost time, for past ignorance, by submitting stories about some of Gracedale’s residents who give me permission to write about them.  Turns out they aren’t invisible at all.  It is only the self-involvement and isolation of the rest of us which has kept us all apart.
In the weeks ahead I will be submitting these articles to this site.  There is no better place, just as there are no better advocates for Gracedale’s patients than the COAF and Gracedale’s staff.  I hope readers will stay tuned.

--Donald Dal Maso


  1. Don,Thank you ! You were a blessing sent to our group from day one in more way's than I can explain, and you continue to do so today.
    I think your idea of doing stories on the residents of Gracedale with their permission is a great thing. There are so many residents with a great past in so many way's people that have worked and payed taxes all their lives should not be forgoten just because they have growen old and sick. It would be great to share their past and present and it would mean so much to them also.
    Again Thank you Don,

  2. You do that Mr. Del Maso. You do that.

    1. Don doesn't need your permission, BO. But it's nice to have you visiting again.

  3. A constant reminder that we must stay strong, as the haters are still amongst us. As we post, O'Hare and his patron Saint Wrong Angle still tell their lies and demean Gracedale.

    They will never stop trying to destroy the Home. So the battle will never end until elected officals make a real plan and exzecute it in a permanent fashion, to protect all future residents of Northmaton County from the evil trio.

  4. The effort by Mr.DalMasso is to allow our readers an opportunity to enjoy learning about the residents of Gracedale. After all, it was for them that the voters decided to preserve the facility. They are real human beings who have given to their families, communities, their country. Their thoughts ,experiences and opinions are important. I for one am looking forward to learning more about the residents who desire to share their stories. We are eager to give them a voice with the help of Mr. DalMasso. Gracedale is beginning to show signs of thriving. I am sure this is to the disdain of those who continue to want to destroy her. Rest assured Gracedale's enemies will not win!!! Peg